There are many people fighting to uphold democracy in these dark times, but in the light of current events there is one brave, independent-minded and creative woman at centre stage who deserves our acknowledgement.
Sadly, it is not easy to take a stand against cheap, nasty populism nowadays in the UK, but Gina Miller has done that and is continuing to do so. Let us not forget that if Ms Miller had not taken the case to the High Court after the EU Referendum in 2016, the Government would not have had to seek parliamentary approval to trigger Article 50.
Now whatever you feel about the EU, the Referendum and plans for Brexit, we all know that one of the big tropes among all the stories told about Brexit was the promise to bring back our sovereignty, and in the UK it is Parliament that is sovereign, so as far as I am concerned, what Ms Miller did was a GOOD THING and I admire her for it. Miller’s actions have led to a revised understanding of how British democracy ought to function in the 21st century.
Now that the current unelected Prime Minister has received permission to prorogue Parliament, totally refuting the apparent aims of the Referendum to bring sovereignty back to the British people, Gina Miller has once again instructed her lawyers to made an urgent application to the high court for a judicial review of Johnson’s action. She is quoted as saying: ‘This is a brazen attempt, of truly historical magnitude, to prevent the Executive being held accountable for its conduct before Parliament.’
Miller is a successful fund manager. Her campaigns also include calling for reform in the City’s code of ethics, including what she calls ‘price fixing’ by the UK fund management industry. In 2012 she set up the True and Fair campaign https://www.trueandfaircampaign.com/, which has called for more transparency and an end to hidden fund charges and mis-selling in the City of London’s asset management industry.
I have nothing but admiration for Gina Miller as she takes this next step. Her High Court challenge to the triggering of Article 50 generated a torrent of abuse. There have been numerous threats to her life, and the hatred and vilification directed at her have been immense. This is a person who has been told that ‘as a coloured woman, I am not even human’. Yet instead of retiring hurt she has thrown herself back into the fray.
She is quoted as saying: ‘One editor of one of the publications said to me “Gina, the thing, is you’re an enigma” and I said, “What does that mean?” He said, “Because we don’t believe anyone does anything for the right reasons”. I said “Well, that says more about you than it does about me because there are lots of people out there who do things for the right reasons every single day.”’
Ain’t that a dame?
I wish her lawyers success in their endeavours.